Judge Dredd – My favourite fascist
Disclaimer: This is an old-timers rant about my favourite 2000AD comic characters. It will contain errors due to memory loss, nonsensical assertions and ranting.
Ok, so here’s the premise – the earth has been ravaged by a number of nuclear Armageddon’s and the survivors are forced to live in massive walled ‘Mega-Cities’. Each Mega-City is an oasis within the ‘cursed earth’ wasteland. To bring order to these over-populated and crime ridden cities a new type of law enforcement emerges called the Judges. They fulfil the role of judge, jury and executioner and foremost among them is Mega City One’s Judge Dredd.
Question - why would anyone read a comic about a fascist cop in a nightmarish future? OK, here are a couple of reasons...
Firstly, he’s an anti-hero of the highest order. He’s dirty Harry on steroids and rides a highly powered and weaponised motorbike called the Lawmaster (not to be confused with the Lawnmaster).
Secondly he gets results. This guy will do almost anything to either lockup or ‘neutralise’ the baddies and seems to have a highly developed nose for sniffing out a guilty conscience.
Thirdly, he has a soft-side…sort-of. He has a conscience and is sometimes conflicted but he always enforces to the letter of the law.
Dredd storylines can vary from citizen-focused plots, criminal masterminds, crime gangs, inter-Mega City intrigues and psychic death dealing apparitions called the Dark Judges. If you want to dabble in some Dredd you could go to the 2000AD site and download some issues for free.
There have also been a couple of movies made - avoid the 1995 one starring Stallone and watch the 2012 one starring Karl Urban. Also, for all the Hollywood directors reading this, my perfect movie would star Clint Eastwood playing an older Dredd. He would be in the twilight of his career and as he nears retirement he chooses to bring ‘justice’ to the cursed earth.
It's also been long speculated that Netflix could pick-up Judge Dredd and do something great with the series. Based on the work they've done with Daredevil and Punisher I think it would be in safe hands.